Definition: Scaling is the process of generating the continuum, a continuous sequence of values, upon which the measured objects are placed.
In Marketing Research, several scaling techniques are employed to study the relationship between the objects. The most commonly used techniques can be classified as:
- Comparative Scales: In comparative scaling there is a direct comparison of stimulus object. For example, the respondent might be asked directly about his preference between the ink pen and gel pen. The comparative data can only be interpreted in relative terms and hence possess the ordinal or rank-order properties. This is the reason why the comparative scaling is also called as nonmetric scaling. The Comparative Scaling includes the following techniques:
- Noncomparative Scales: The noncomparative scale, also called as monadic or metric scale is a scale in which each object is scaled independently of the other objects in the stimulus set under study. Generally, the resulting data are assumed to be an interval and ratio scaled. For example, a respondent may be asked to rate their preference for the gel pen on a preference scale (1 = not at all preferred, 6 = greatly preferred). The noncomparative scale includes the following techniques:
Thus, the researcher can apply any of the scaling techniques to determine the characteristic of an individual and then locating him on the scale that best fits the defined characteristics.